The weather is heating up and so is the housing market! With homebuying activity set to soar in Canada’s summer months, prospective buyers are ready to make the investment of a lifetime. For some Canadians however, the excitement of buying property and the eagerness of embarking on a new chapter means they often forget about getting a home inspection performed first.
With such a competitive market, it’s not uncommon for buyers to waive home inspections entirely. By doing this, they hope their offer will look more appealing to the seller and speed up the buying process. Waiving a home inspection may help buyers land the house, but it may pave the way for many costly problems thereafter. In order to avoid any expensive renovations or rebuilds, having a professional inspection done before purchasing will greatly benefit any buyer. Here’s everything you need to know about the importance of home inspections:
Waiving a home inspection is ill-advised. AmeriSpec can help you avoid expensive repairs in these 5 major areas.
A home is likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. The main priority of home inspections is to make you aware of the unknown issues in a house before you pull the trigger on buying it. Waiving a home inspection not only gives you as a buyer less negotiating power with the seller, but it also leaves any pricey repairs in your hands. And trust us, those repairs can add up. Look at just how valuable home inspections can be when it comes to these five major areas in your potential home:
Basements and crawl spaces are the two most common types of foundation in Canadian homes. Though these spots are usually used for storage or extra media rooms, the issues they bring can be detrimental to your entire house if left uninspected. By waiving an inspection on a house, you could miss foundation issues like:
Bulging or curves in foundation or concrete walls can indicate foundation movement. This is especially relevant in Canada as the extreme drops and rises in temperature can cause soil to expand and contract, which exerts pressure on walls.
Foundations can crack because of excavations. Post-excavation, soil surrounding the home can become loose and the vibrations that follow can cause small cracks. Only a professional inspector would be able to detect issues such as these.
With cracks, comes leaking. Leaks cause water buildup, and when too much water penetrates these cracks, your basement will turn into a damp breeding ground for mold.
Every home has their differences, but when it comes to these issues, Canadian homeowners will be expected to cough up a pretty penny. Foundation cracks typically cost between $300 to $1,000 CAD to fix and foundation leaks can cost a staggering $2,500 to $8,900 CAD. Opting for a professional inspection before buying can catch these costly problems and save you a headache.
The brutal cold and constant snow during Canadian winters can take a serious toll on the roofing of homes. Ice buildup and heavy snowfall can slowly eat away at roofs, causing long-term structural damage and, sometimes, roof collapse. AmeriSpec inspectors are highly skilled in finding potential roofing issues such as:
Poorly maintained roofs are the main victims of moisture penetration, which can add up when it comes to repairs. Moisture problems typically start on the roof and then move throughout the entire structure of a home, a costly issue that you won’t want to miss in a pre-purchase inspection. When left uninspected, this moisture can cause issues with mold, rotting, and pest infestations.
Cracking of caulking
Caulking is the glue-like material that prevents water from seeping through a roof. The extreme temperatures that Canada experiences in one single year can eat away at roofing and cause its caulking to crack and wither. If cracked caulking is not addressed in a home inspection, water will sneak in and leak directly into your home.
Exposed roof trusses
Roof trusses are the structural supports of a roof. When a home has poorly installed roofing, these supports become exposed and can suffer from damage quickly. Individually damaged trusses can cause a home’s roof or ceiling to sag, and multiple damaged trusses can ultimately result in roof collapse.
As we know, Canadian winters can take their toll on homes, especially older ones. Ice dams are ridges of ice that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining. When a roof is unable to properly drain this water, it can leak into the home and cause excess moisture damage.
Roof repairs are on the more expensive side of the repair sheet, ranging from $5,000 CAD to $15,000 CAD. Trusting a qualified professional to perform a home inspection could be just what you need to save both your roof and your money.
Nobody likes to feel a draft when they’re relaxing on the couch. That’s why a pre-purchase inspection of a home’s building envelope is so crucial.
A home’s building envelope essentially refers to the outer layer of a home that protects the structure from the outside. This can include roofs, walls, windows, floors, and insulation. Building envelope inspections take a closer look at the vital areas where air leaks and moisture penetration can be found, saving you from spending thousands on insulation repair. Avoiding an inspection on a home’s building envelope can leave you with these problems when you arrive at your new property:
If you see condensation on your walls, that could be a sign of missing insulation. Missing insulation means you’ll be cranking up your thermostat all winter and paying a hefty heating bill. Condensation on windows can often point to elevated humidity levels in the home, which will not only be uncomfortable to live with, but can also lead to moisture spreading to nearby walls and surfaces.
Plaster damage can cause air leakage throughout the house with no reprieve. It can also be a sign of structural damage, which can cause thousands of dollars in the long run to fix.
Mold often hides in the cracks of our homes with us never realizing. Unfortunately, mold buildup can severely impact our health, and buying a home with excess mold can put you and your family in danger of getting sick. Walls and ceilings should be checked for mold during a building envelope inspection to keep you and your family safe.
At the end of the day, the problems that can arise in a home’s building envelope can cost you upwards of $1,000 CAD to fix, depending on the severity of the issues. An AmeriSpec pre-purchase inspection will save you the stress and efficiently spot any issues before you decide to buy a home.
Home inspections are available to help protect you and your family and keep you safe. Buying a house and waiving an inspection puts you at a disadvantage. Electrical issues are more common than not, and unseen problems can cause potential fires or serious injury to those living in your home. Should you fail to repair electrical problems in your home, your home insurance can even be voided because of negligence.
Reversed polarity, DIY or exposed wiring, outdated outlets, and poorly maintained circuit breakers are all issues that a certified AmeriSpec inspector can find during their visit. Electrical issues like flickering lights or humming appliances are best inspected by a professional.
Ignoring electrical warning signs won’t make them go away. Though some can be quick fixes, electrical work can cost you upwards of thousands of dollars. Don’t take any chances and hire AmeriSpec to notice these issues during an inspection before they grow into much larger problems.
Plumbing issues can easily lurk undetected from untrained eyes. And though plumbing problems are often out of sight, they will not be out of mind once they make themselves known.
Plumbing issues come in all shapes and sizes in different types of homes. For example, an inspector could find lead pipes in homes built prior to 1986. Lead is an environmental toxin and exposure can seriously damage one’s health, especially a child. Families with younger kids may rethink a home if it contains lead pipes. Beyond the health issues, outdated plumbing materials such as lead, galvanized, and cast iron that are past their life expectancy will likely require replacing in the very near future, which will not be cheap.
Inspections can also evaluate the durability of pipes and determine if they can withstand cold temperatures. Pipes that run through unheated areas, like the garage, may be prone to freezing during the winter, which could lead to pipe bursts.
Leaks are another common issue, with staining in ceilings below bathrooms indicating a leaky toilet, tub, or shower. These leaks may also be hiding damage to the joists and/or sub floor.
Other inspection finds can include low water pressure, underlying septic tank issues, and appliances that may be on their last legs, including water heaters and dishwashers.
The average cost of a Canadian plumber is between $58 to $ 260 CAD per hour. So do yourself a favour and go through with the inspection.
Save money with an AmeriSpec home inspection
AmeriSpec pre-purchase home inspections cover foundations, roofing, the building envelope, electric, and plumbing issues. Investing in this service can spare you from costly repairs and the potential debt that comes with them. Contact us today and find your local home inspector. They’ll help you make an informed decision before purchasing a new home.